Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End (Review)

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Uncharted 4 is the fifth entry in the Uncharted series developed by Naughty Dog and it is exclusive for the Playstation 4, the game follows the series protagonist Nathan Drake getting out of retirement one last time to hunt down captain Henry Avery’s lost pirate treasure, Be warned that after this point I will talk about the various plot points and even spoil the ending so if you haven’t played the game I highly recommend that you do that first.

Perhaps Uncharted 4’s strength and weakness boils down to it is familiarity, the game plays it very very safe with the same gameplay and basic Uncharted story from the last four games which goes in this direction : Nathan wants to find treasure, Bad guy wants to kill Nathan and find treasure for himself, Nathan finds treasure, Nathan blows the treasure up and walks away with very little fortune, and I played the game expecting that from the beginning so I wasn’t disappointed at all by it unlike some of the Uncharted fans.

Like you would expect from a Naughty Dog game it is beautiful and detailed better than dare I say any other game out there, the facial expressions and details are just mind blowing and makes you wonder how far gaming has come since the days they had to make Mario with a hat on because they couldn’t draw hair, the voice acting is superb as expected from its  A-list celebrity cast such as Nolan North and Troy Baker, and again I played the game expecting that from the beginning. the game also adds some personal stories between Nate and the other characters which in a way made me remember Mad Men’s final season it just felt like a goodbye that makes you think about the journey that I had with these characters and that was a good to experience.

Now I want to talk about the story of Uncharted 4, in my opinion the game has two separate stories one of them is about Nate and Sam and their journey to find the Avery treasure, they spend a lifetime searching for this and the obstacles in their way is to get it makes it even more meaningful, I liked both villains Nadine and Rafe because they both had a good reason why they were looking for the treasure too. the second story was Avery’s and here the game shined in my opinion, the story is told through the background and the conversations among the characters and notes you find through the game and it is very well told I genuinely wanted to know where did they end up and when you get to the final point despite the fact that I predicted the outcome I was very satisfied and happy with that, for me this is one of the areas the game really was successful which was telling that story in a way that other mediums can’t do it, in a movie or a TV show something like this will be told through exposition which is very weak unlike what is possible in a video game, this style of storytelling that Half Life kicked off in the 90s and we have seen many versions of it like BioShock, Dead Space and The Last of Us is very powerful and Naughty Dog does it very very well in all of their games.

Now to my issues with the game, one of the things I really disliked about the game was the combat it was very shallow basically it is the same style of the previous uncharted games but it barely has any weight to it, sure u can increase the difficulty and have the enemies hit you harder and die harder but that won’t make it any fun it actually gives the game an inconvenience that I want to get it out of the way. my other issue is the fact that this game doesn’t make much sense, for some reason your rivals are always there when you arrive even though you are the one who solves the puzzles and figure out the location of the treasure but somehow they figure it out too and race u there with more resources if they could discover where the treasure was why did they wait for you to get there first?, lastly where was the supernatural twist? no pirate ghosts or something, I really did wish they were in the game because I did enjoy them in the previous games.

Verdict : despite a few flaws I think Uncharted 4 was a great game, a beautiful ending to a good series and I do wish Naughty Dog take the good parts of Uncharted 4 and add it to their future which ever that game maybe.

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Author: Aza Jabar

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